Party, Paradise, Theft, a Scam and Goodbyes

We were a group of more than 20 drunk people, squeezed into the 3 Tanzanian taxis. Glacier’s Inn had just closed, it was 3.30 am and we were all ready for more. It was that time of night where you should just go home, but you don’t understand that concept yet.

Each taxi was packed with 7-8 very drunk people who had been drinking heavily and dancing for the last 5 hours. It was at Glacier’s Inn in Moshi, where the music is loud, the cocktails are cheap, and the dance floor is packed. A place where every white girl is swarmed by at least 3 eager and persistent Tanzanian guys.

In other words, the place you go every Friday, if you seek a hungover Saturday. As a girl you have a lot to choose from, as a guy…well, you got some serious competition by guys way more eager than you, who are nowhere near as drunk as you are.

It was just a 10 minute drive, so my legs were only slightly numb when we all fell out of the taxi at the next club. This club was somewhat different. Unlike Glacier’s where they had a very good band, good DJ’s and several bars, this was sort of the opposite. But who cares at 4 am?

We were a gang of 20+ “mzungu” when we arrived, but we had lost nearly 10 people from our group, somewhere between the sidewalk and the 5 meters walking distance to the club. Inside we were the only white people. The dance floor was nearly empty, except for the few prostitutes who tried to get the attention of the 10 or 20 Tanzanian guys standing around with their beers, looking bored out of their mind. The music was ear shattering and really horribly bad.

I was later told by the owner of the hostel I was staying at, that this particular place was the hangout for the “Arusha Gangs” and stabbing happened more frequently than you would like. So, it was basically everything you could ask from a club. At least at that time of day, in that town. We were ignorant and drunk, so we were just having fun. This place had everything we wanted, music, drinks and a dance floor. A true paradise.

People, from our group, disappeared faster than sane people from a surprise schlager concert. A few guys, from our group, were enjoying the very physical attention they received, from the hungry girls, who had been trying to enthrall anyone with a cock and money, for hours, to no avail. One of them grabbed “me” while she passed me and gave me the look. Eventually they gave up on us – except for one guy.

When the music stopped and the light went on, the 6 or 7 of us who had stayed were about to leave. Then a German girl decided she wanted to buy the disco ball. At this time everyone was blasted out of their minds. She asked the closest guy if she could buy it. He took off. We assumed he went to get the manager of the place.

While waiting she asked a women instead and tried to make a deal. She demanded 20.000 TZS/$12/€9. After haggling for a while she agreed to sell the disco ball for 15.000 TZS/$9/€6.5. The German girl paid up and went to the disco ball.

When she tried to take it down a guy rushed to her to stop her, “What the hell are you doing?” He shouted. “I just bought the disco ball.” She explained. “From who?” He demanded. “From that woman.” She looked around. We all looked around. We asked around if anyone had seen her. “Have you guys seen a black woman?”

The German girl, who a few weeks earlier had bought a goat, and kept in the bathtub where she was staying, didn’t really accept the circumstances, and kept fiddling with the disco ball. The security guards were quickly over us and started pushing us, “Get out! Now! We are closed.” They shouted, while literally pushing us out of the club.

“But I want my disco ball, I just bought it.” She continued. “You didn’t buy it, you just gave a prostitute 15.000 shillings.”

It was 5-5:30 in the morning, everything was closed so it was time to overload a taxi and go home.

Tanzania

On my very last night before leaving Moshi, I found myself on the dance floor at Glacier’s again, just a couple of hours before my bus was leaving to Dar es Salaam.

After 1 hour sleep I was waiting for the bus at 6 am. It was only delayed 45 minutes. 45 minutes I could have slept. It was summer time in Tanzania and I was sitting in a bus, for a 10 hour trip, where everyone, except me, found it really comfortable to keep ALL the windows closed, even though the sun made me feel like a duck in an oven.

Of course I had gotten the only seat, in the whole bus, with a window that was broken and covered with plexiglas. The bus only stopped once on the 10 hour drive, which was supposed to take 8 hours. So, I couldn’t really drink much water. The bus was hot like hell, I had been drinking all night and only slept for 1 hour. It wasn’t exactly the best bus ride in my life.

It was times like these when I would think back on the lovely Honey Badger. A nice swimming pool, with nice, cool cocktails, beautiful weather, hanging out with excellent company and just take a break from all the traveling. Moshi’s Paradise. A retreat outside of the city, without any noise at all. Monkeys climbing around the trees and you are just lying there, enjoying it. A place that was hard to get too much of.

Once I made it back to Dar es Salaam I had enough time to meet up with Hanna, before I went to South Africa. It was really great seeing her again, although one day was much too short. In the meantime she had been to Dar es Salaam many times and knew how to get around. So, we enjoyed the day on one of the beaches, and had a good time.

In the evening when I got back to my room, I just immediately felt something was wrong. I don’t know why, but I just knew someone had stolen money from my backpack. I checked and there was indeed money missing. Fortunately, only 40 dollars was stolen.

I didn’t have time to do anything about it. It was already dark, and I had a flight early the next morning. I told the host that one of her cleaning ladies had stolen money from me. She found it hard to believe. I found it hard to believe that anyone, in Tanzania, could find it hard to believe. They had a sign saying that the staff was trustworthy, but I hadn’t trusted it, and it turned out I was right.
Tanzania said goodbye with the same warm kindness it welcomed me with in the first place.

I still had a great time in Tanzania. Next up was South Africa.

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